See also: Haben


Alternative formsEdit

  • ham (in informal writing)
  • han (archaic, dialectal)


From Middle High German haben, from Old High German habēn (akin to Old Saxon hebbian, Old Norse hafa (Swedish hava/ha), Old Frisian habba, Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌱𐌰𐌽 (haban), Old English habban), from Proto-West Germanic *habbjan, from Proto-Germanic *habjaną, from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂p- (to grasp). Cognate with Dutch hebben, English have, Danish have.


  • IPA(key): /ˈhaːbən/, [ˈhäːbn̩], [ˈhäːbm̩] (standard)
  • IPA(key): /ham/ (common; particularly in the present tense, occasionally also in the infinitive)

Note: In Germany it is written in IPA:

  • IPA(key): /ˈhaːbən/, [ˈhaːbən], [ˈhaːbn̩], [ˈhaːbm̩]

[ä] and [a] is the same sound here.

  • (file)


haben (irregular, third-person singular present hat, past tense hatte, past participle gehabt, past subjunctive hätte, auxiliary haben)

  1. (auxiliary, with a past participle) to have (forms the perfect and past perfect tenses)
    Das habe ich nicht gesagt.I haven't said that.
  2. (transitive) to have; to own (to possess, have ownership of; to possess a certain characteristic)
  3. (transitive) to have; to hold (to contain within itself/oneself)
    Glaub und hab keine Angst.
    Believe and don't be afraid or Believe and have no fear.
  4. (transitive) to have, get (to obtain, acquire)
  5. (transitive) to get (to receive)
  6. (transitive) to have (to be scheduled to attend)
  7. (transitive) to have (to be afflicted with, suffer from)
  8. (transitive, of units of measure) to contain, be composed of, equal
    Ein Meter hat 100 Zentimeter.
    There are 100 centimetres in one metre.
    (literally, “One metre has 100 centimetres.”)
  9. (impersonal, dialectal, with es) there be, there is, there are
    Es hat zwei Bücher.
    There are two books.
  10. (reflexive, colloquial) to make a fuss
    Hab dich nicht so!
    Don't make such a fuss!
  11. (colloquial, with es and mit) to be occupied with, to like, to be into
    Ich hab's nich so mit Hunden.
    I'm not a great fan of dogs.
    (literally, “I don't have it that much with dogs.”)
  12. (colloquial, with es and von or über) to talk about
    Wir hatten's grad von dir und deiner Freundin.
    We've just been talking about you and your girlfriend.
    (literally, “We just had it about you and your girlfriend.”)


Colloquially, hab (also written hab') is often used as the first person singular of the present indicative, instead of habe.

Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit

  • haben” in Digitales Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache
  • haben” in Uni Leipzig: Wortschatz-Lexikon
  • haben” in Duden online
  • haben” in

Middle EnglishEdit



  1. Alternative form of haven (to have)

Old High GermanEdit


From Proto-West Germanic *habbjan, from Proto-Germanic *habjaną, whence also Old Saxon hebbian, Old English habban, Old Norse hafa, Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌱𐌰𐌽 (haban). Ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *keh₂p- (to grasp), whence also Latin capiō.



  1. to have


Derived termsEdit


  • Middle High German: haben, hān